What can you do if you lose a tooth from trauma? If you take quick action, a dentist may still be able to save the tooth!
What causes knocked-out teeth?
Teeth are knocked out of a mouth most commonly from impact to the jaw or face.
If your tooth gets knocked out, take the steps below:
1. Find the tooth and pick it up without touching the root.
As soon as possible after losing the tooth, retrieve it. Pick it up carefully by its crown (the part normally visible in your mouth) and avoid grabbing it by the root if possible.
2. Gently rinse the tooth with water if it’s dirty.
Only use water to rinse debris or dirt from your tooth. Make sure you avoid using chemicals or soap and don't scrub and dry the tooth or wrap it in cloth.
3. If possible, place the tooth back in the socket.
Try placing the tooth back into its socket as soon as possible. Do so gently (still only touching the crown). Another option is to position it above the socket without pressing down
Close your mouth slowly to push it in. Using a finger, hold the tooth in place. You might also bite down on it.
4. Keep the tooth moist.
If you can't place your tooth back into its socket, you need to keep it moist until you get to the dentist. Use a cup of milk or keep it in your mouth next to your cheek. Avoid tap water, since your tooth's root won't be able to tolerate it for very long.
Using this method of preserving a tooth may increase the likelihood of your dentist being able to replace it.
5. Visit a dentist's office within 30 minutes.
Ideally, you should go to your dentist’s office within 30 minutes of losing any teeth. However, it may still be possible for your dentist to save a tooth if it has been outside the mouth for an hour or more.
How can I prepare for a dental emergency?
Dental emergencies may happen at any time. There are a few things you can do at home to prepare in case one arises.
Keep these things around the house at all times, as they are handy to have in a dental emergency:
- Ice pack
- Over-the-counter painkiller (such as ibuprofen)
- Small container with lid to preserve a knocked-out tooth
- The phone number of your local dentist’s office
Are you experiencing a dental emergency like a knocked-out tooth?
A dentist will be able to help you find treatment. Find a dentist to get started.